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Brendan Gaughan Pre-Race Report - Michigan

AUGUST 22, 2004

Brendan Gaughan on Michigan Speedway: Gaughan is a fan of Michigan Speedway and looks forward to returning to the track for the second time during his inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.

“Michigan is one of my favorite tracks,” Gaughan said. “Having a win there from the [NASCAR] Truck Series doesn’t hurt my opinion any, either. There is just something about the one and one half-mile and two-mile tracks, like Michigan, that agrees with me. I wouldn’t want to run a two-miler every week, of course, but man, do they help me regain my confidence when I need it most.”

Gaughan started the NASCAR Truck Series event from the sixth position last July and won the event.

Gaughan Feels Like the No. 77 Kodak Racing Team is Heading Down the Right Path, Despite the Struggles that Have Come His Way: Gaughan is proud of his team’s performance, despite the finishes logged.

“The Penske-Jasper Racing team has performed a lot better than what we have finished. I hate to say it, but we have been the root of our problem on many occasions. It seemed for a couple of weeks, we couldn’t get out of our own way. Take New Hampshire for instance. We were in position for the “Lucky Dog” and we blew it. There was too much chatter on the radio, so I was never told to pass the pace car, which means we couldn’t fuel up. It ended up working out just fine because we got a caution a few laps later, but… Then there was Pocono. We were in position for the “Lucky Dog” and we passed the pace car just fine, only to folly the pit stop. I came in too early, with the lead-lap cars vs. the lap-down cars, and we were penalized one lap. Right back to where we were! Some times, race teams can be their own worst enemies. It takes complete focus and if for one second we loose that concentration, the big picture becomes a blur and moves more and more out of focus.

At least August has been good to us, so far. We were running strong at Indianapolis only to get caught up in another racer’s mess. And Watkins Glen, whooo! I felt like a road racer.”

Shane Wilson on Returning to Michigan Speedway: Wilson is excited about the return to Michigan Speedway and hopes to have a repeat performance with better results this go round.

“Brendan ran a strong race in June, we just didn’t have the finish to show for it,” Wilson said. “We had a great set-up, but the tires have been a little tricky for us to figure out. Hopefully, we learned from our first trip, now we just need to carry it through to the end of the race. No one remembers when you have a strong race and finish 16th. They remember when you run 16th all day and win the race. I wouldn’t mind being on that end of the spectrum.”

Wilson on Returning to Tracks for a Second Time This Season:

“The good thing about returning to these tracks the second time around is that now I have a notebook to run from. Before, we were building our notes because Penske-Jasper Racing went through a manufacturer change. That in itself completely obliterates the possibility to use old notes. Matt [Borland] and Larry [Carter] can only help us so much. They have a team with a car and driver that they need to focus on. We weren’t exactly on our own, but some days it certainly felt like it. I think the entire team is more comfortable with the changes we make now. Confidence is a large part of the game, and we are finding ours.”

Equipment: Gaughan will race chassis PJR-25 at Michigan Speedway on Aug. 22. No. 25 is the same chassis Gaughan raced at Atlanta (St. 25th/ Fin. 33rd) and Michigan (St. 6th/ Fin. 16th) earlier this year. Gaughan ran a strong race at Michigan, even leading the race after damage from a first lap accident. With new tires, the car’s handling was loose, which led to the 16th-place finish.

from Jasper

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